Corned Beef with Brown Sugar Dijon Glaze & Peppercorn Crust

St. Paddy’s Day Dinner! We seldom eat corned beef, but when we do, we always turn to this family recipe! My mother-in-law used to make it this way, and I honestly felt like I could devour the whole thing, whenever she served it! It’s our favorites and it’s perfect for Leprechaun Day.☘️ The brown sugar-Dijon crust reminds us of Honey Baked Ham with the sweet and crispy edges, but with a spicy peppercorn crust. It’s a perfect complement to the saltiness of the corned beef. We serve it over a bed of blanched green cabbage (blanched to bring out the bright green color) dressed in a champagne vinaigrette. Serve it with Brown Sugar-Dill Braised Carrots and roasted potatoes, and dinner is set for your celebration!

Lately, we’ve been using our Peppercorn Perfection spice blend to pat into the Dijon-brown sugar glaze and it is delicious. It is the perfect complement to the sweet nature of the glaze, giving it a little extra pop of flavor!

In order to brighten up the green cabbage, simply blanch it in boiling water for less than a minute. Then drop it in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. We serve champagne vinaigrette over the cabbage, which is fun and a diversion from roasted or braised cabbage.

There are two methods we have used for cooking corned beef brisket to fork tender: simmering for a couple of hours on the stove, or slowly braising it in the oven for several hours, roughly an hour per pound of brisket. We really prefer the oven method, especially since we twice bake the cooked brisket with the glaze in the oven anyway. We also feel that the meat is more tender when braised versus boiled.

Don’t be alarmed, but the brisket will shrink in size considerably while cooking. Last time I made this, my 4-pound brisket ended up being just over 2 pounds. This just gives you an idea for planning purposes! A general rule of thumb is a shrinkage of about one-third, but I’ve experienced even more than that.

If you do have any leftovers corned beef, it makes wonderful Reuben sandwiches, or for those who don’t like sauerkraut, a simple toasted corned beef-Gruyere on sourdough open-faced sandwich is also amazing!

Corned Beef with Brown Sugar Dijon Glaze & Peppercorn Crust

Corned beef brisket, oven braised and then baked again with a Dijon-brown sugar, peppercorn crust. It’s deliciously salty, spicy, and sweet at the same time!
Servings 5 Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes


  • 1 Large Dutch Oven (or roasting pan)


  • 4 pounds corned beef brisket
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3 tsp. Peppercorn Perfection (available in our online store:)

Blanched Cabbage

  • 1/2 head green cabbage cut into wide strips
  • 1 recipe Champagne Vinaigrette recipe below

Champagne Vinaigrette – blend all together:

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil



  • Preheat oven to 300 ℉. Remove brisket from plastic wrap and rinse well to remove brine. Remove any excess fat from the brisket.
    Place the brisket in the Dutch oven along with any spice packet that may have come with the brisket, or you can use your own spices, and cover with water or beer. Cover the Dutch oven. *If using a roasting pan, be sure to tightly cover the pan with foil.
    Treks IMG 7884
  • Bake for 4-5 hours, or until brisket is fork tender. Remove from oven and discard the baking liquid. Set aside to cool. This can be done a few days ahead of time, and stored, wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator until you’re ready to do the final baking and serve.
    Treks IMG 1874

Crust Mixture and Second Baking

  • Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Spray a roasting pan or the same Dutch oven you used to cook the brisket with PAM, or line the pan with parchment paper. Place brisket into this pan. *Parchment paper is great, because the sugar in the crust can be hard to get off the bottom of your pan!
    Treks IMG 1875
  • Mix Dijon mustard, brown sugar and soy sauce and spread over the entire brisket – the top and all sides. Cover this mixture with a generous coating of Peppercorn Perfection and pat over the entire top and sides of the brisket, patting the pepper blend into the mustard mixture so it will adhere.
    Treks IMG 1881
  • Alternatively, for a more sugary-pepper crust, mix only the mustard and soy sauce, and spread over brisket. Then, mix the sugar with the Peppercorn Perfection and pat the combination into the mustard mixture, covering the entire top and sides of the brisket.
    Treks IMG 7933
  • Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until crusty and browned on the outside. Remove from oven and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before carving.
    Slice across the grain into ½ inch thick slices.
    Treks IMG 1891
  • Serve with champagne vinaigrette cabbage, roasted potatoes, and Brown Sugar-Dill Braised Carrots.
    Treks IMG 7932

Blanched Cabbage

  • Heat a pot of water to boiling.
    Drop sliced cabbage into the boiling water and boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, just to bring out the brighter green color.
    Immediately remove the cabbage from the pot with a slotted spoon and drop it into a bowl of icy cold water to stop the cooking process.
    Once cooled remove from water into a colander and drain for at least 30 minutes.
  • Toss cabbage with champagne vinaigrette and serve as a bed under the sliced corned beef.


There are two methods for cooking your corned beef brisket. You can either put it in a large pot, cover it with water and sprinkle in the spices that come with it. Bring it to a boil and the reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours. 
Or, you can simply place the brisket and spices in a roasting pan, cover with water or beer, cover tightly and braise in the oven for several hours. 
We really prefer the second method, especially since we will be roasting the cooked brisket with the Dijon-brown sugar topping in the oven for another 30 minutes. We also think the brisket turns out more tender in the oven method.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: corned beef, corned beef brisket, st. patricks day

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